Minas Karatzoglis was surprised to discover his photo on packaging for Lindahls Turkish-style yoghurt. The dairy was surprised the image hadn’t been fully cleared by the picture agency from which they sourced it. Nick Johnson picks up the story.
Topic: People in advertising
Who: Minas Karatzoglis, Lindahls dairy
When: July 2010
Law stated as at: 27 July 2010
Seventy-seven year old Minas Karatzoglis sued Swedish dairy Lindahls for £4.5m when he discovered the business had used his image for 8 years on packaging for its Turkish-style yoghurt.
The photo on-pack showed Karatzoglis in a red hat, wearing traditional Greek dress and sporting a distinctive and very full moustache. Lindahls had bought the image from a photo agency, and used it on millions of yoghurt packs. However it appears the agency had never obtained consent from the Greek for use of his image. He discovered the usage when a friend – a fellow Greek – saw the product in a Stockholm supermarket.
Lindahls have reportedly now settled the matter by paying between 1.5 and 2 million Krona (around £140,000-£180,000) in order to avoid the case going to court in Greece.
Why this matters:
UK law may not give the man in the street strong legal rights to prevent commercial use of his image or likeness. But the position on this can vary significantly from territory to territory. And defamation law can also offer a cause of action in certain circumstances.
Advertisers sourcing photos from libraries/agencies need to ensure not just that copyright in the image has been cleared for their required purpose, but also that any other clearances required have been obtained. Is there adequate evidence that appropriate consents have been gathered from individuals depicted and from owners of any other third party rights in the content?